Category Archives: Uncategorized

Diane Ravitch: Time for Honesty About “Critical Race Theory”

Diane Ravitch's blog

I wrote the following article for the opinion section of the New York Daily News. According to Education Week, “As of June 29, 26 states have introduced bills or taken other steps that would restrict teaching critical race theory or limit how teachers can discuss racism and sexism, according to an Education Week analysis. Nine states have enacted these bans, either through legislation or other avenues.” During his last year in office, Trump denounced critical race theory and the New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning “The 1619 Project” and said that anyone who taught these materials was “indoctrinating” their students and turning them against America. He called for “patriotic education.”

I wrote the following:

Republican-led states across the country, including Texas, Idaho, Oklahoma, Iowa and New Hampshire, have passed laws to ban the teaching of “critical race theory”; CRT is an academic concept that was first…

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Posted by on July 1, 2021 in Uncategorized


Public Schools Are Not Indoctrinating Kids About Racism. Voucher Schools ARE

Public Schools Are Not Indoctrinating Kids About Racism. Voucher Schools ARE

How the corrupt and racist Republican Party is spreading lies about public schools teaching Critical Race Theory. Critical Race Theory is not taught in k-12 public schools. Read this post to find out where it is taught.


Republican frenzy has reached a fever pitch with attacks in at least 16 states on schools that allegedly teach Critical Race Theory.

Right-wingers claim public schools are indoctrinating America’s youth in lies and deception about race and racism – namely the “lie” that these things remain problems.

They grudgingly concede that racism was a (slight) problem in this country before the civil rights movement, but then Rosa sat down and Martin stood up and – POOF – racism was over.

End of story. Let’s move on.

However, there are several things wrong with this besides its basic reductivism.

First, no public school actually teaches Critical Race Theory.

Second, racism is not over in the US, and talking about the facts of history and how they led to our current situation is not indoctrination. It’s education – the job of public schools.

And finally, if you really want to see taxpayer…

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Posted by on June 17, 2021 in Uncategorized


Beware the Phony Parent Astroturf Groups in Your State!

Do not trust an organization with a fancy-sounding patriot title if the money that supports it comes from billionaires. Most if not all billionaires cannot be trusted. They are billionaires because they worship at the altar of greed.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Jeanne Melvin of Ohio’s Parent Education Partners has provided a useful guide to help readers discern the differences between actual parent groups and billionaire-funded astroturf parent groups.

Actual grassroots parent groups rely mostly on volunteers. They want to strengthen, preserve, and protect their public schools. They lobby the state legislature for more funding for public schools.

Astroturf parent groups are supported by billionaires, and they usually have a sizable staff of well-paid people. They exist to carry out the goals of their funders. They complain about how terrible the public schools are, and they advocate for charter schools and choice.

Melvin names names. She calls out “Parents Defending Education,” “Freedom Works,” “Parents Rights in Education,” and “Moms for Liberty,” among others. Some of they may be at work in your state, representing themselves as ordinary parents who want “change.” The change they want is privatization, not better public schools. Before…

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Posted by on June 14, 2021 in Uncategorized


The Politics and Ideology of School Choice Research

In the 1980s, with help from President Ronald Reagan’s lies and misinformation, libertarians, Republicans, and neoliberals cracked open the schoolhouse door and invaded our public schools. Today that invasion is an all-out war between their failed ideology and saving our community-based public schools.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Julian Vasquez Heilig, T. Jameson Brewer, and Frank Adamson recently published an analysis of the neoliberal roots of school choice and its spillover into research on school choice.

They begin:

To conceptualize the politics of research on school choice, it is important to first discuss the politics of market- based approaches within the broader purview of public policy. Modern notions of “markets” and “choice” in schooling stem from the libertarian ideas Milton Friedman espoused in the 1950s. As these ideologies escalated in the 1980s under neoliberal theory and Republican orthodoxy, the argument that parents should have choice between competing schools within an education market with little regulation began to crack the public schoolhouse door, allowing an influx of private school vouchers and charter schools.

The ideology of a competitive education market supposes that competition and deregulation are necessary and fundamentally positive forces that will “fix” the “failed” public school…

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Posted by on June 5, 2021 in Uncategorized


Why is “Critical Race Theory” Controversial and What Is it?

The Traitorous-Trumpian Right attempts to “whitewash” history.

Diane Ravitch's blog

In several states, the Governor and Legislature have denounced “critical race theory” and even (in Idaho and some other states) banned it from their schools. The controversy over teaching about race gained ground when former President Trump condemned CRT as divisive and launched his own quickie commission to teach “patriotic” education. The object seems to be to minimize or eliminate teaching about racism, past or present.

Retired teacher Nancy Flanagan dissected the controversy here, in one of the best-informed analyses.

It seems that the white adults want children to think of their country as one without faults, flaws, blemishes, or systematic oppression. To see our history whole, the good and the bad, they think, will undermine love of country.

The National Education Policy Center published a useful overview of the controversy and concluded that teaching history must be based on evidence, not ideology.

It begins:

Here’s how NEPC Fellow Shaun…

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Posted by on May 17, 2021 in Uncategorized


PA Gov. Wolf Fires Charter School Appeals Board. Every. Single. Member.

PA Gov. Wolf Fires Charter School Appeals Board. Every. Single. Member.

Here’s another example of how the “Reform School” private sector but publicly funded Charter school industry is deliberately destroying the working class, community-based, democratically managed, transparent, have to follow the law, public schools with employees that belong to public-sector unions.

As a rule, those “reform school” Charters are not transparent and do not have to follow the same laws that OUR public schools do.


Being Governor of Pennsylvania must be one of the most thankless but important jobs ever.

With a hopelessly gerrymandered legislature, a majority of Republican lawmakers representing a minority of voters stops nearly anything from getting done for the rest of us.

If it weren’t for a Democratic Governor to act as a check and balance on this lunatic fringe, the state would devolve into chaos.

Case in point: the Charter School Appeals Board (CAB).

It took Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, seven years to fire his predecessor’s appointments and nominate replacements to the CAB.

Yet the GOP legislature is crying crocodile tears that he’s exceeding his authority by doing so.

The board is supposed to be a place where charter schools can challenge decisions made by their local school boards.

Charters are schools that are funded by taxpayer dollars but can be privately operated.

They have to ask the local…

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Posted by on May 15, 2021 in Uncategorized


Maurice Cunningham: Who Got Suckered? Secretary Cardona or Readers of The74?

The extremist billionaire controlled fake National Parent Union (pretending to represent most parents but only represents a few such as Walton, Koch, et al. After all billionaires have children, too, that never attend public schools) fools (or allegedly buys/owns) U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Maurice Cunningham is a professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts. His specialty is following the gobs of money poured into “education reform.” His exposes of Dark Money in the 2016 charter expansion referendum was a crucial element in turning the public against the referendum (you can read more about him in his blogs and in my book Slaying Goliath.)

In this post, published here for the first time, Professor Cunningham writes about the innocence or naïveté of Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, who met with a billionaire astroturf group and thought he was reaching out to ordinary parents and families.

Cunningham writes:

Who Got Suckered, Secretary Cardona or Readers of The74?

“The Pro-privatization education blog The74 recently published To Rebuild Trust with Families, Ed. Dept. Seeks Input from Outspoken Parents Group. The story purports to be about how Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona “seeks”…

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Posted by on May 9, 2021 in Uncategorized


David C. Berliner: A Hug for Jennifer

“Alec’s brother had been shot and killed by the police the night before– a rarity in the middle class neighborhood the school served. And it happened at home, in front of Alec.”

Diane Ravitch's blog

David C. Berliner, one of our nation’s most honored researchers of education, shared this essay for readers of the blog.

                                             A Hug for Jennifer

          I met Jennifer for the first time at a party. She taught elementary school to mostly white, mostly middle-class kids in a suburb of San Francisco. We chatted about education for a while and she invited me to visit her class. I like visiting classes, in part, because they are always so difficult to understand. It is an enormous intellectual challenge to witness and make sense of the interaction of teachers and students with curriculum materials in a classroom setting. Sometimes, with teachers you come to admire, it is like trying to put together a recipe after  tasting  a delicious food. It’s hard to figure out the ingredients that made it so special. 

More frequently, my observations struck me as a bit like trying to study what comes out the end of a…

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Posted by on April 10, 2021 in Uncategorized


Gary Rubinstein: Why I Left the “Reform” Movement

Gary Rubinstein, from teacher to crusader fighting to save OUR public schools from the greedy, lying, manipulating corporate and billionaire-funded “reform school” movement.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Gary Rubinstein is well known to readers of this blog, as I have posted almost all of his blogs. He is a career high school math teacher in the New York City public schools. I met Gary about ten years ago, when I had made a complete turnaround in my views about testing and choice. I was working on an article about “miracle schools” that fudged their data and discovered that Gary was an expert on reviewing school-level data and exposing frauds. He helped me write an article (“Waiting for a Miracle School”) that appeared in the New York Times in 2011, and he has continued to be a friend ever since. Gary’s analytical skills have been invaluable in fighting off idiotic “reforms,” like evaluating teachers by their students’ test scores (known as VAM). In his multiple posts on that subject, he showed its many flaws. For example, an elementary…

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Posted by on April 9, 2021 in Uncategorized


Florida: League of Women Voters Exposes Voucher Boondoggle As Big Business

Carry a good flashlight when you follow this DARK money.

Diane Ravitch's blog

The Florida League of Women Voters has long been wary about the state’s rush to privatize public school funding through charters and vouchers. It has previously published reports on the conflicts of interests, the politics, and the money in the charter sector. In this report, it investigates the organization created to hand out money for vouchers, called “Step Up for Students.” I am posting only the introduction. To read the body of the report, please open the attached PDF file.

Step Up for Students

Preliminary Investigative Report

League of Women Voters Education Task Force

Contact: Dr. Sarah (Sally) Butzin

President, League of Women Voters of Tallahassee


March 2021


For the past 20 years, a private organization has been growing exponentially using direct and indirect public funds largely out of public view. This organization is the conduit for an unregulated school system without standards being created by the…

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Posted by on March 29, 2021 in Uncategorized